Edna Molewa. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi.

Pretoria - South Africa’s environmental affairs department has accessed US $80 million from international sources to assist in preserving flora and fauna amidst the impact of climate change, Minister Edna Molewa said on Thursday.

“US 30.6 million of this total has already been approved and a further US$49,8m already endorsed. These internationally-supported initiatives will promote organic waste-to-energy and other low-carbon technologies in small and medium-scale enterprises,” Molewa told reporters in Cape Town.

She was addressing journalists at Parliament before presenting her department’s budget vote in the National Assembly.

Molewa said South Africa was gradually moving towards the use of greener energy, with a target set for 2030.

“By 2030, South Africa will have an efficient, lower-carbon public transport system that makes everyday use of private vehicles an unnecessary extravagance. By 2030 our houses, offices and commercial building will no longer be energy drains, but rather energy sources – supplying electricity to communities through smart meters and smart grids,” she said.

She said through the climate change response policy and the green economy strategy, Africa’s industrial and economic powerhouse would continue to work diligently to meet targets on emissions reduction and air quality standards with the ultimate aim of transitioning to a low-carbon, climate resilient economy and society.

Molewa said in a bid to boost the buoyant tourism sector, her department had an initiative to improve service delivery and base infrastructure in the country’s national parks.

“We are also repairing flood damaged bulk infrastructure. An amount of R950 million has been allocated to SANParks for infrastructural development, while another R42 million has been allocated for road improvements for the period of 2015/16 to 2017/18. An additional R12 million has been allocated to repair of SANParks’ flood damaged infrastructure for 2015/16,” she said.

“These initiatives create sustainable employment for many communities adjacent to national parks in remote and rural areas; they also contribute to driving rural and regional sustainable development.”

ANA